September 2019

Conference Presentation
WiMi project member Magdalena Suerbaum will present her paper, ‘Mothering in times of forced migration – Legal and bureaucratic challenges for Middle Eastern refugees in Berlin’, at the conference ‘(Un)Settling Middle Eastern Refugees: Regimes of Inclusion and Exclusion in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States’, which will take place at Yale University, 27–29 September. The paper analyses how a precarious legal status causes different forms of vulnerability and impacts experiences and practices of motherhood.

June 2019

Conference Presentation
WiMi project member Magdalena Suerbaum presented her paper, ‘The challenge of turning 18: Coming of age as young refugee men from the Middle East in Germany’, at the BRISMES Conference at the University of Leeds, 24–27 June 2019. The aim of the panel on which she presented was to explore masculinities in connection with the themes of conflict and displacement.

May 2019

Workshop Report
WiMi coordinator Zeynep Yanasmayan, WiMi project member Tabea Scharrer, WiMi project member Magdalena Suerbaum and former WiMi project member Christian Hunkler organized a workshop titled “Forced Migration, Exclusion and Social Class” at the MPI for Social Anthropology in Halle, 23-24 May 2019. The workshop featured stimulating and provocative presentations focusing on the interactions of social class with aspirations to upward mobility, political engagement, livelihood and refugee policies. The keynote speech was given by Nicholas Van Hear, who discussed the degree to which the notion of “class” can help understand forced migration and its associated dynamics. A more extensive report of the workshop can be found here: Workshop Report 'Forced Migration, Exclusion, and Social Class'. The organizers are preparing a special issue on the basis of selected papers from the workshop.

March 2019

Conference Presentation
Research on the history of emotions makes an important contribution to migration studies, particularly within the interdisciplinary framework of the Wissenschaftsinitiative Migration (WiMi). At the international conference Representation of Migration and Emotions of Exclusion, held on 20-21 March 2019 at the Center for the History of Emotions, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, discussions focused on processes of migration, voices of migrants and refugees, and the dynamics of exclusion and inclusion across politico-geographic and cultural alignments, all viewed through the lens of the history of emotions. This two-day conference, organized by three researchers at the MPI-HD and WiMi members, Sonia Cancian, Deepra Dandekar and Soňa Mikulová, comprised three interdisciplinary panels, a poster session, three guest lectures, and one keynote address. Presentations from across the world zoomed in on migrants’, refugees’, policy-makers’, and other stakeholders’ representations of the everyday negotiations of migration along an inclusion-exclusion continuum, and emotions associated with these dynamics. The organizers of this extremely successful conference are now planning to publish an edited volume on migration and emotions on the basis of the conference proceedings.

January 2019

New Publication
WiMi project members Andreas Edel and Aimie Bouju organized a high-level expert meeting on 'Vulnerability of International Migrants'. The meeting was chaired by WiMi researchers Constantin Hruschka and Luc Leboeuf. Building on the discussions of this meeting, the policy brief 'Vulnerability: A Buzzword or a Standard for Migration Governance?' has now been published. It presents the following key messages: 1) 'Vulnerability' is increasingly becoming a commonly used term within the legal and policy discourses on asylum and migration. It serves as a tool that guides the implementation of legal and policy frameworks in a way that addresses specific needs and prevents the emergence of new ones. 2) 'Vulnerability' has the advantage of contextualizing migration policy, as it draws attention to the concrete experiences lived by migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. 3) 'Vulnerability' has hidden exclusionary effects. Such exclusionary effects may become problematic if they amount to a restriction on accessing existing rights. 4) There is no common or systematic understanding of the 'vulnerabilities' faced by migrants, refugees and asylum seekers or of their evolution over time, indicating a need for interdisciplinary research.

December 2018

New Publication
The WiMi working paper laying out the genesis, objectives and the analytical framework of the research initiative 'The Challenges of Migration, Integration and Exclusion' has been published. Co-authored by WiMi leader Marie-Claire Foblets, WiMi member Luc Leboeuf and WiMi coordinator Zeynep Yanasmayan, 'Exclusion and Migration: by whom, where, when, and how?' elaborates a multi-dimensional research framework that rests on analytically separating the exclusion of migrants into six constitutive elements: actors, acts, moments, representations, areas of exclusion, and reactions against exclusion. It argues that there are a variety of state and non-state actors that engage in exclusionary acts in specific areas at certain moments. Such exclusionary acts are produced and reproduced by representations of exclusion and contested by reactions against exclusion. Click here to download the working paper.

October 2018

Conference Presentations
The WiMi research initiative was widely represented in the 2nd Conference of Netzwerk Flüchtlingsforschung on 4-6 October 2018. WiMi research initiative coordinator Zeynep Yanasmayan organized a panel on the theme 'The mechanisms of exclusion of migrants in Germany'. Within the framework of the panel, WiMi members Tim Rohmann and Constantin Hruschka presented a paper entitled 'Excluded by enhanced migration management? The plans for faster and more efficient asylum procedures in Germany', and WiMi member Tabea Scharrer acted as discussant. The panel was very well received. In a different panel, WiMi member Deepra Dandekar presented her paper entitled 'Refugees and the Indian Partition in 1947', and WiMi member Miriam Schader co-organized a panel on 'Fluchtmigration, religiöse Vielfalt und das islamische religiöse Feld in Deutschland'.

Call for Papers
WiMi project members Soňa Mikulová and Deepra Dandekar, in collaboration with Sonia Cancian, are organizing a two-day workshop titled "Representation of Migration and Emotions of Exclusion" on 20-21 March 2019 at the Center for the History of Emotions in Berlin. The workshop seeks to explore the narrative representation of migration and the emotions that these narrative representations express about exclusion. Relying on our understanding of exclusion as a continuum, papers that focus on narratives expressing or reflecting on emotions and negotiations of exclusion-inclusion (even in cases where people have been granted legal acceptance) are welcome.

Please click here for the Call for Papers.

If you are interested in participating, please submit a 1000-word abstract by e-mail to Karola Rockmann at by 31 October 2018.

September 2018

New Publication
Cultural divergence, insufficient language skills, and knowledge of the norms and values of the country of destination, as well as pronounced religious otherness, are often considered the main obstacles to successful integration of immigrants. Even if current scientific evidence suggests much more nuanced perspectives that lead to the development of alternative approaches, this presumption is still at the very heart of public debate and integration policies. As part of the WiMi research initiative, this new discussion paper seeks to put this claim to the test. Population Europe invited 10 international scholars to debate cultural similarities as a driver of inclusion. Among others, WiMi members Soňa Mikulová and Deepra Dandekar from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development participated with articles on German expellees in West Germany after 1945 and on refugees who migrated after the partition of India and Pakistan, respectively. By analysing the integration process of immigrant groups in different national contexts, this discussion paper shows that even under 'optimal' conditions with regard to the categories mentioned above, the pathway to inclusion is not necessarily any smoother.

Conference Presentations
WiMi project members Tim Rohmann and Constantin Hruschka have presented their paper "Abschaffung des Rechts durch Gesetzesflut im Migrationsrecht" in the fourth conference of the association for German-speaking sociology of law (Vierter Kongress der deutschsprachigen Rechtssoziologie-Vereinigungen) in Basel, Switzerland, 13-15 September. The paper deals with the effects of the "hyperactivity" of the German and the European legislator in the asylum and migration area in response to the so called "migration crisis". It argues that too many provisions changing in very short period of time ("Gesetzesflut") creates an increasing degree of unforeseen discretion for the executive authorities. This discretion leads to important challenges inter alia with regard to equality of treatment and non-discrimination.

WiMi project member Luc Leboeuf presented his paper 'The Prohibition of Collective Expulsion: A Forgotten Protection?' at the ReDIAL Conference at Masaryk University on 6 and 7 September 2018. The objective of the conference was to discuss the findings of the ReDIAL report on the implementation of the return directive by the courts of EU Member States. The presentation highlighted the fact that, in national jurisprudence, the prohibition of collective expulsion is not mentioned.

August 2018

Call for Papers
WiMi project members Christian Hunkler (MPI for Social Law and Social Policy), Tabea Scharrer (MPI for Social Anthropology), Magdalena Suerbaum (MPI for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity) and project coordinator Zeynep Yanasmayan (MPI for Social Anthropology) are organizing a workshop titled 'Forced Migration, Exclusion, and Social Class', to be held 23-24 May 2019 at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany. Contributions focusing on various aspects of the overarching topic of forced migration, exclusion, and social class, as well as papers dealing with specific regional or temporal foci, including internal displacement, are welcome.

Please click here for the Call for Papers.

Please submit abstracts to both and no later than 15 October 2018.

June 2018

Conference Presentations
The MPIDR team of the WiMi project presented their studies conducted within the framework of the WiMi project to some international conferences.

The study titled 'Gendered Spousal Order of Migration and Hospitalization among Immigrants to Denmark' (Jennifer Caputo, Angela Carollo, Eleonora Mussino, Linda Ahrenfeldt, Rune Lindahl-Jacobsen, Sven Drefahl, and Anna Oksuzyan) was presented at the European Population Conference in Brussels, Belgium, 6-9 June. The project investigates the relationship between spousal order of migration and hospitalizations after age 50. Caputo and her colleagues find that the order in which married individuals arrive to Denmark is highly gendered, as among those who migrate at different times it is far more common for men to arrive before their 'trailing' wives. Those who migrate at different times from their spouses, particularly those who migrate second, tend to have lower education and economic outcomes than those who migrate at the same time as their spouse. The initial results of this project were presented also at the International Conference on Demographics, Immigration and the Labor Market, 6-7 April, 2018, Nurnberg, Germany, and at the Population Association of America Annual Meeting, 26-28 April, Denver, USA.

The study 'Health Assimilation of second generation migrants: the role of parental material and social resources' (Silvia Loi, Joonas Pitkänen, Heta Moustgaard, Mikko Myrskylä and Pekka Martikainen) was presented at the European Population Conference in Brussels, Belgium, 6-9 June. The project primarily investigates the physical and mental health assimilation process of immigrant children. Health assimilation implies an increase in the prevalence of poor health conditions across generations of migrants, in contrast to the classical model of social assimilation which implies reduction in social differences across generations. Results show higher prevalence of physical and mental health problems among second generation migrants compared to children of native parents and to first generation migrant children. The initial results of this project were also presented at the Population Association of America Annual Meeting, 26-28 April, Denver, USA.

May 2018

Workshop on Humanitarian Visa
WiMi project leader Professor Marie-Claire Foblets and WiMi project member Luc Leboeuf organize a conference on humanitarian visas on 17-18 May 2018 at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and at the Martin Luther University of Halle Wittenberg together with Professor Winfried Kluth and Professor Dirk Hanschel. The conference will critically assess the role humanitarian visas may play in the search for the appropriate balance between efficient border management and human rights protection, and how achieving this balance can be reconciled within the external dimensions of the current EU migration and asylum policy. Further information can be found here.

March 2018

Discussion Paper
WiMi project member Daniela Vono de Vilhena published the first discussion paper of the WiMi Project entitled "Knowing the Unknown: Irregular Migration to Germany". This paper aims to advance research on irregular migration in Germany by describing how irregular migration is defined by German law, which data is available to study this phenomenon as well as its limitations. Click here to download the full paper.

Call for Papers
WiMi project coordinator Zeynep Yanasmayan organizes a panel on "The mechanisms of exclusion of migrants in Germany" for the 2nd Conference of  Netzwerk Flüchtlingsforschung on October 4-6, 2018. Multidisciplinary in nature, the panel welcomes the participation from a wide range of disciplinary and methodological approaches. Please send your 250-word abstracts to latest by March 25, 2018. For the call for papers click here.

Conference Presentation
WiMi project member Luc Leboeuf presented his paper 'Precaire verblijfstitels. De grijze zone tussen het wettelijk en het onwettelijk verblijf in het Belgisch vreemdelingenrecht' at the conference Leerstoel migratie- en migrantenrecht at the University of Antwerp, 13 March 2018. The presentation questioned the summa divisio established by the Belgian Aliens Act between the regular and the irregular stay, showing that it acutally creates numerous intermediate statuses that are treated as regular or irregular depending on the legal context.

February 2018

Panel Discussion
The WiMi project will be holding a public discussion on February 27 at 17.00 on "everyday exclusions" that migrants in Halle face. Local migrant and legal aid organizations as well as local public institutions are invited to share their experiences. [more]

Director Günther Schlee presents WiMi at conference
WiMi project member Günther Schlee presented the WiMi project at the final event of the European Institute’s TÜBİTAK Project "Routes of hope: Transitions and destinations in global migration flows" on February 9. In his talk, Schlee elaborates on the reasons for choosing exclusion over cooperation as well as on different techniques of exclusion.

Conference Presentation
WiMi project member Luc Leboeuf presented his paper 'The Prohibition of Collective Expulsion as an Individualization Requirement'  at the Odysseus Conference at the Free University of Brussels, ULB, on 1 February 2018. The presentation addressed the content of the prohibition of collective expulsion as interpreted by the ECtHR, also looking at how it relates to similar guarantees under EU law.

December 2017

Interview with WiMi leader Marie-Claire Foblets
WiMi Leader Marie-Claire Foblets was interviewed for the Max Planck Society magazine on the WiMi project. She explained the WiMi project's focus on exclusion and on the significance of state and non-state actors in generating stratification of rights and resources that are essential for migrants' lives. Click here to access the text of the interview.

Go to Editor View